A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Friday is my second favorite F word” (4/29)
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Entry from July 31, 2015
Welfare Wednesday (Food Stamp Friday)

"Welfare Wednesday” describes the Wednesday of a month when welfare checks are sent out. The term is mostly used in Canada (especially in the city of Vancouver), but has also been used in Ireland. Emergency Services have noted that drug overdoses often occur on a “Welfare Wednesday.” The term “Welfare Wednesday” has been cited in print since at least 1994.

“Food Stamp Friday” is a similar term that was used in the United States in 2012. Both “Welfare Wednesday” and “Food Stamp Friday” are sometimes regarded as derogatory.


Vancouver Eastside Missing Women
The Damage Done
By: Brian Preston (First published in Vancouver, March 1994)
On one weekend in May, 1993, five Vancouverites died of heroin overdoses, a typical episode in an ugly story. Retraced here are the lives that led to the deaths.
(...)
Last May, local media were roused to a brief flicker of interest when five people died on the single weekend following Welfare Wednesday, their deaths blamed on ample street supplies of cheap, potent, near-pure heroin. Every time a person dies from heroin, the coroner’s Judgment of Inquiry ends, “I classify this death as an accident.” Five people die and that’s a story. Five people no longer live, and are grieved and missed, that’s another story.

Google Groups: bc.jobs
Welfare Day this Wednesday, December 15th 1999
Sam OBENx
12/12/99
Just to let everyone know that Welfare day is this comming Wednesday, December 15th 1999 and not the 22nd for this month. Further information of Welfare Wednesdays dates at http://www.sdes.gov.bc.ca/publicat/cheqissu.htm
Happy Welfare Wednesday folks!

Google Groups: bc.jobs
Welfare Day this Wednesday, December 15th 1999
Sam OBENx
12/16/99
Welfare Wednesday named

Welfare Wednesday was known for some time. Though many businesses, banks, Emergency Services etc are warned ahead of time of such a day and usually have extra staffing on hand. Though modernization to those who have bank accounts is direct deposit to their bank accounts (if eligible to open an account with a bank). Same said with Employment Insurance Canada. Just also further note, I am not poor bashing, it is just a part of economic safety net for those who do not qualify for Employment Insurance (Federal) or actual job. Some times Welfare is needed by those where economic reasons is un-just with a common minimum wage job in todays society. I hope it all works out in the days ahead and perhaps as well for year two thousand. Interesting response in this forum. Though we should not be critical of each others opinion as we are fortunate of free speech in this forum. - Sam

National Post (Canada)
The Woodward’s Project: Commercial activity, entrepreneurship return to the hood
Brian Hutchinson | June 29, 2010 6:00 AM ET
(...)
On my visit one morning, the branch was quiet. A few clients straggled in and were met by smiling tellers. The branch’s two bank machines — the only ones around for blocks — occasionally spat out cash. Two days later, business had picked up considerably; it was “Welfare Wednesday,” also known in the DTES as Mardi Gras, when social assistance and disability cheques appear and street activity surges.

Google Groups: alt.fan.cecil-adams
Uh oh...Dana wins in NYC!
bill van
10/9/10
(...)
FWIW, I’m quite sure no Canadian jurisdiction hands out food stamps, so it’s possible we Canadians don’t appreciate all the nuances. Here, if you qualify for social assistance, a.k.a. welfare, you get a cheque once a month and you spend it on what you want/need.

(There’s a phenomenon in Vancouver’s infamous tenderloin district, the Downtown Eastside, called Welfare Wednesday. Welfare cheques are handed out on, I think it is, the last Wednesday of the month. So much of the money is spent on drugs and booze that the resulting festivities are known as Mardi Gras. That evening, there are monthly peaks in overdoses, fights, emergency room admissions, etc.)

The Irish Times
‘Welfare Wednesday’ pub apologises over drinks promotion
Liz Delaney’s was criticised for offering cut-price alcohol to unemployed customers

Dan Griffin
Tue, Jan 6, 2015, 20:17
A Dublin pub has issued an apology after its “Welfare Wednesday” drinks promotion drew criticism from politicians and the Department of Social Protection.

Liz Delaney’s was accused of promoting “irresponsible drinking” after launching a campaign offering cut-price alcohol to customers in receipt of State payments.

A poster for the Coolock pub advertised €3 pints of beer and measures of spirits for anyone who presented a social welfare card or bus pass.

The Rocky Mountain Goat News
“Welfare Wednesday” debate: BC Ambulance trainer and Vancouver Police defend the term as a fact
AUTHOR The Goat
DATE July 31, 2015
By: Frank Green
Laine Smith was teaching a class of paramedics-in-training about discrimination. It was a brief part of a four-day orientation that dealt with everything from CPR to the proper way to lift a stretcher. Smith explained that there are 13 different kinds of illegal discrimination, and the class had a brief discussion about why discrimination is bad.

Then this reporter, who was in the class as a trainee, asked if it was discriminatory to use the term “Welfare Wednesday.” Some paramedics use it to refer to the time of the month when overdoses spike in the days after people on income and disability assistance receive their cheques. (A 2014 study of a supervised injection facility found that there were twice as many overdoses during three days each month, starting with the day people got their cheques.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Friday, July 31, 2015 • Permalink